Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Deep Down in My Life

Dear Friends,
We’ll soon be celebrating New Year’s Day.  As I look out across another year with all its known and unknown challenges, I remind myself that what transpires for God and for good as far as my small life is concerned, depends on what happens “deep down in my life”.  How do I go deeper, reach further, climb higher, cling closer, dream bigger, and be seen to be empowered by the Spirit, in touch with the risen Christ, with an unmistakably evident relationship with the Father – deep down in my life?  In other words, what does it mean to live in the present reality of the living God?
I know there is absolutely no way I can do the work I’ve committed to do on the “outside” of me, unless God is doing the work He has committed to do on the “inside” of me.  I simply need to give Him permission to be who He is, in each and every area of my heart and life!  This is my prayer not only for me, but also for you my friends.
Dear Lord, hear my heart.  I give You full permission to be who You want to be, as “deep down” in my life as You wish to go!  Amen.

Blessings,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Going to Bethlehem


Dear Friends,
It was the Christmas season and I was thinking about all the tinsel triviality around me.  The Grinch was winning big time!  I had been frantically rushing around my world in ever-decreasing circles.  Have you ever been like this at Christmas?  So hectic that you miss what it’s all about?  I was sitting on The Front Door step at last, when it opened and He whom my soul loves joined me.
“Lord,” I began as my soul stopped rushing around inside me and sat down for a few saving moments – “Speak to me.  Do whatever it takes to touch the quiet place within me where You live. Whatever it takes, Lord, do what it takes to renew my faith and set my spirit dancing, so I can do whatever it takes to tell my world why You came at Christmas.”  He smiled at me thoughtfully as if remembering something.  Then He spoke.
“One day I said to my Father, ‘Whatever it takes Father, I’ll do it.  Whatever it takes to bring them all home to our house.’  And my Father said to me: ‘Go to Bethlehem!  That’s what it takes!’  And so I came!  As a baby, born to a woman who barely counted her age in double figures.  Go to Bethlehem, Jill.”
I knew at once what He was telling me.  I needed to go to Bethlehem.  
Lord, I worship You, I am in awe!  I am reduced in spirit, Lord, overcome with remorse that I have for far too long allowed my faith to lie low at Christmas of all times!  I have allowed the Grinch to steal my Christmas.  Forgive me!
I had been to the mall, to the outlets, to visit the family, but I hadn’t been to Bethlehem!  I had fallen foul of the Christmas rush.  I went – right then and there.  You can too, you know.  It changed my Christmas.  It will change yours!

Blessings,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine


Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Healing Place for Others

Dear Friends,
In Rev. 22:1, John saw “the river of the water of life… flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”  John noticed that the leaves of the trees that lined the river’s banks were used for “the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).  What a beautiful picture.  We may borrow the picture and apply it to ourselves, for Scripture uses the same symbol to describe the happy person who is planted by the river of God with her roots in the river of life.
Our lives should offer relief from the heat and shelter from the storm to those who need it.  People should take one look at our ever green lives and make a beeline for us.  Our lives should be full of healing, relief, and balm.

Are your leaves used for healing?  You can be a tree of life for others.  If I think about my life in recent days and years, I ask myself, “Have people beaten a path to my door because they know where help can be found?”  I want to be a tree Like Jeremiah describes with its roots in the river, its leaves ever green, and fruit that never fails.

When I heard about my father’s cancer, I knew the heat was on.  Coming from a family with little evangelical background, I knew there would be lots of opportunities to offer my leaves for healing in the days to come.  But this was my great test, too!  This was my beloved father who was entering the valley of the shadow.  I would be struggling with my own huge sense of loss.  How could I help others when I needed such a lot of help myself?

The answer was the river, the river of life.  Life in the Spirit offered a source of life to me in the very face of death.  My job would be to keep my roots in the river, my leaves full of sap, and stay ever green.  It was a hard, hot, desert experience for me, but the Spirit of God was sufficient to supply all I needed, not only for myself, but also for others.  God was indeed a life-giving spring.

Blessings,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine